Can I get business insurance if my company isn’t registered or licenced?

While not every business needs to be licensed or registered, every business needs to be insured. Many new owners are unsure whether they need permits, registration or licenses for their small business. Those are important questions, because getting business insurance requires complying with federal and provincial regulations. 

If you’re starting a business that doesn’t require registration, licences or permits, you have as much of a right to insurance as any other business. Here’s what you need to know.

Does my business need to be registered?

In Nova Scotia, most businesses have to register with the Registry of Joint Stock Companies. However, the following types of businesses don’t need to go through this process:

• Sole proprietorships for which the business name and the owner’s name are one and the same
• Partnerships that operate in the farming or fishing industry exclusively
• Corporations, partnerships or business names that are already registered in New Brunswick

Consult the Government of Nova Scotia’s website, Access Nova Scotia, for more information about registering a business. In addition, an insurance broker will be able to tell you what paperwork you need in order for your business to be insured.

Does my business need any licences or permits?

In Canada, the federal, provincial and municipal governments provide an online service called BizPaL. The service draws information from all three levels of government in order to compile a list of all the documents required for a business to operate in a given area. Insurers are also often able to guide you through the process if required.

For more information about BizPaL, read about it on the Access Nova Scotia website.

Does my business need insurance?

Ninety-nine per cent of the time the answer is that yes, you need business insurance. Whether or not your business is registered or licenced, having business insurance is always a good idea. Running a business comes with the risk of unexpected expenses, including losses due to accidents, theft, lawsuits, property damage or natural disasters. 

As a business owner, you’re also responsible for any injuries that occur on your premises. Starting a business is an investment, and protecting that investment is important, regardless of the type of business you run.

Business and commercial insurance in Nova Scotia

If you’re looking to insure your business, come see us at Eisenhauer Insurance. We can provide you with a customized and affordable business insurance plan. Contact us today to set up a no-pressure, no-obligation consultation.